Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Ever since commencement, the current session of Orissa legislative Assembly has not transacted any tangible business. Both the sides have made it collapse.
Demanding a motion adopted on votes by the Assembly, prohibiting supply of water from Hirakud Reservoir to industries as that adversely affects irrigation, the Opposition is not allowing transaction of any other business of the House; whereas the government side has placed a parallel Motion on the same issue to pledge the Hirakud water to irrigation, while desiring the motion to develop a consensus on the issue sans voting.
Both the sides are legally right in coining their respective motions and are also right in sticking to them.
But are they doing anything other than shedding meretricious tears for the farmers?
It is congress that has a Prime Minister in Dr. Man Mohan Singh who is the father of an era of importance given to industry over agriculture. Have the Congress legislators of Orissa ever questioned that anti-farmer design of their national leadership? Can they ever?
Similarly, Chief minister Naveen Patnaik is conspicuous by his eagerness to serve the non-Oriya industrialist to the detriment of Oriya marginal farmers. He is so obstinately anti-people that he never visited the victims of Kalinga Nagar massacre perpetrated by the state police to serve the purpose of private industrialists. His followers are so docile that he was never challenged for this nefarious design against the children of Oriya soil and so motivated in favor of private industry that instead of standing with Oriya farmers they are busy in dividing the farmers community into rival groups so that private industries including foreign industries like POSCO find free ways to exploit Orissa. Against this backdrop, can the legislators who pride in being followers of the BJD autocrat be ever taken as sincere in their approach to the turmoil over Hirakud water?
To me both the sides are making a farce of the demands of our farmers and in competition to continue the farce, they have made the Assembly collapse.
I have earlier discussed how failure of the Speaker to work as per The Rules has helped continuance of the impasse. Had the Speaker dared to rise over party politics and acted impartially as thr Rules dictate, the impasse could have been removed.
I have been reporting Assembly for so many decades. Never such a bad shape had the Assembly acquired.
It is high time to admit that the Assembly has collapsed. Taking into account the volume of its legislative time lost in filibustering, it would not be anti-democracy to say that the present Assembly should be dissolved to give the people of Orissa a new chance to elect a new Assembly, which, hopefully, may be a better one.
The Governor, upon whom the Constitution under Article 174(2)(b) has bestowed the responsibility of dissolving the Assembly, should rise to the occasion and dissolve it so that future members would be more conscious of the importance of legislative time.